Interview With Juan Carlos Munguia
Describe your product or service:
“We created the world's first affordable large-scale/high-resolution metal 3D printer.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“To be leaders in research and development of the aerospace sector through the design, implementation, technological development, and application of additive technology and virtual reality systems at an international level.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“We have raised $250,000 USD so far and are currently closing our 1.2MM seed round, but all the time we have been through government grants and bootstrapping.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them!
“Our CEO Juan Munguia is a career aeronautic engineer with a Master’s in aerospace design and a focus on 3D Printing Technology. He has been working for more than six years developing cutting-edge additive manufacturing, mixed reality, and fabrication design technologies as an SAE AMS Member. Before joining M Aerospace RTC Juan worked as a design engineer at Collins Aerospace and as a structural engineer for Safran Aerospace Group. Juan has been asked to participate in several international forums and give his perspective on the challenges and disruptive potential of technologies including VR/AR and additive manufacturing. Juan has worked in collaboration with the United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce and has been involved in several additive manufacturing projects through the Manufacturing Technology Center, The National Laboratory Center of the UNAM ‘MADit,’ and the Technologic of Monterrey. Juan has also has been nominated by the Mexican newspaper ‘El Economista’ as the ‘MEXICAN MITRE’ denoting a promising/rising young entrepreneurial star.
M Aerospace RTC’s co-founder Agustin Adod is a mechanical engineer by trade with more than 30 years of experience working in the automotive and aerospace Industries. His previous positions include the design, development, and implementation of several engineering projects at large firms including Driessen Aircraft. Agustin’s passion lies in the full cycle of product development from design to fabrication with a focus on structural analysis, production optimization, and machine development. Agustin currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the company and oversees the manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Baja California Mexico.
The design team is headed by Raul Bahena, a mechanical engineer with experience ranging from developing aerostructures for companies such as Collins Aerospace to serving as a lead design engineer for GE. Raul has distinguished himself throughout his career through his passion for the development of custom devices and innovative fabrication processes and worked with GE to create a real-time electronic database of tooling and hardware for their new products coming to market. Raul has more than 30 years of experience working with multidisciplinary teams and brings a strong design and fabrication background to M Aerospace.
Serving as head of business development is Arturo Reyes. Arturo has a Master's in engineering and innovation and robust expertise in large-scale business consultancy. In addition to his consultancy work, Arturo has innovated several concepts in product lifecycle including the introduction of several 3D printing technologies and the commercialization therein. In his previous roles, Arturo was instrumental in the development of several electromechanical components to be used on hybrid EV systems and other renewables energies technologies.
Jose Comparan serves as the director of quality for M Aerospace RTC and boasts several years of experience in systems quality and a Master's in Industrial Transformation. Jose is in charge of the review of the designs, modeling, and development of projects for the company. In addition, he is responsible for the additive manufacturing area (3D printing) where he supervises the development and manufacture of parts, molds, and assemblies, as well as advising and training the printer technicians. Before joining the M Aerospace team Jose was in an R&D role for mechanical engineering at CETYS University campus Mexicali.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“We were working on the industry and have identified a requirement of the industry.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“‘M’ stands for Manufacture — Additive Manufacture — and the ‘Aerospace’ was because at the beginning we were only focused on that industry and the ‘RTC’ means Research and Technology Center.”
What was the biggest obstacle you encountered while launching your company? How did you overcome it?
“Funding and obviously COVID, but with endurance and attitude you can overcome everything.”
Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on how to start a startup.
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Aerospace, automobile and medical industries that do manufacturing or prototyping.”
What's your primary marketing strategy?
“Referrals and trade shows, as well as inbound marketing”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“With a lot of referrals and word of mouth.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Revenue, customers in pipelines, and outreach.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“‘Traction’ [by Gino Wickman]”
What is a song or artist that you listen to for motivation?
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“The ecosystem is great.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“It's hard, but keeping a good calendar in place.”
When did you know it was time to quit your day job to focus on your startup?
“When we have more customers that I can handle myself.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“I was a design engineer for Safran Aerospace, and they gave me the tools to design components.”